Zingle Wants Customers to Text Message Companies for Support

For many companies, text messaging is a way to defer customers until they can get on the phone with a customer service agent or receive a response via email. But chatbot-based customer service provider Zingle envisions text messaging as a primary customer service channel, not a temporary solution.

Hospitality is a primary focus for the company, which has big-name clients, including Hyatt, Great Wolf Resorts, and the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, as well as customers in other industries such as Orangetheory and Weight Watchers in the fitness space. According to the company, Zingle's chatbot solution is more robust than other comparable bots because it's increasingly becoming less keyword-based than its competitors.

Back in January, Zingle acquired Presto AI, which has played a big role in improving its analysis capabilities. Where a keyword-based chatbot can answer very basic questions, such as "What's the Wi-Fi password?" it’s likely to provide the same response to any question that has the word "Wi-Fi" in it. But what happens when a customer needs to report that her Wi-Fi isn't working? Enter Zingle, whose solution is capable of understanding the specificity of the question and offering some troubleshooting options.

Its built-in chatbots can process requests and follow up with guests by either automatically replying, suggesting a response for hotel staff, or triggering one of 25 actions, such as creating a service ticket to be addressed later.

"We built this through the lens of the best outcome for the end customer. That’s our North Star in terms of how we think," Ford Blakely, founder of Zingle, told CNBC.

Blakely also said that Zingle's strength lies in its ability to connect multiple support channels, including email, texts, and messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and WhatsApp. In fact, Zingle was among Facebook's earliest partners when the company rolled out Messenger for businesses. Shortly after that, Hyatt named Zingle its global messaging partner, which brought the company into the spotlight.

Now, with a fresh round of funding for $11 million under its belt, Zingle is looking ahead and working to keep strengthening its technology.

"This financing has afforded us a resource to get really great people with domain expertise in this," Blakely told CNBC. "At the core, it's all about solving this customer experience problem."

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